Niagara Chardonnay

Niagara

Bachelder

Thomas Bachelder will be known to many of our customers as the first...

winemaker at Le Clos Jordanne. He has now gone out on his own, together with his wife, Mary Delaney. In their first vintage in 2009, they made three Chardonnays from three different regions - Burgundy, Niagara and Oregon. Using the same winemaking techniques in each region (wild yeasts, minimal intervention and the same barrel makers), the difference in the wines is solely down to the vineyard which makes for some very interesting blind tasting results. The Niagara Chardonnay is particularly fresh and lifted with aromas of white stone fruits, whereas the Oregon Chardonnay shows a more robust, honeyed character.

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Vineyards

The grapes for this wine come primarily from the organically-grown Saunders Vineyard (Beamsville Bench) and the Wismer Vineyard on Twenty Mile Bench. The combination of Niagara's strongly continental climate and the Dolomitic limestone-rich soils of these vineyards, imparts great minerality and freshness to the final wine.

Vintage Information

Weather conditions in Southern Ontario were variable and often record-breaking in 2015. It was unusually cold and dry in January followed by a brutally cold February that brought more snow than normal and shattered low temperature records across the province. Although April and May were relatively normal, the bizarre weather swings resumed with an exceptionally wet June followed by a very dry July. The summer growing season brought excellent conditions with few major storms and sunny warm weather in all appellations. Niagara was slightly drier than Prince Edward County and Lake Erie North Shore. September weather settled nicely into warm beautiful conditions for the start of harvest and, except for some rainy periods in October, fall weather was favourable.

Vinification

Years of making Chardonnay - in Meursault and Corton-Charlemagne in Burgundy, in the Willamette Valley in Oregon and in Canada's Niagara - has taught Thomas to be as natural as possible in his winemaking. Pressing of the grapes was therefore very gentle and fermentation was carried out only with wild yeasts. Malolactic fermentation took place in specially selected oak barrels, followed by an extended ageing period which has made the wine broader on the mid-palate, more integrated, elegant, subtle, truer to its terroir and, surprisingly, less oaky.

Tasting Notes

Bright lemon-yellow in colour. On the nose, lifted ripe lemon notes mix with hints of white stone fruit and flinty mineral nuances. It is medium to full bodied on the palate with a scented stone fruit character and a long and complex mineral finish.

Vintage Information

Vintage 2014
Grape varieties 100% Chardonnay
Region Niagara, Ontario
Winemaker Thomas Bachelder
Alcohol (ABV) 13%